The Rainy Season and a Cold

The rainy season arrived this weekend. Specifically, it arrived as I was walking around Union Square Saturday morning without anything resembling a raincoat or an umbrella. Happens to me that way almost every year. The opening of the rainy season is a new West Coast ritual I’ve had to adjust to since being here. On the East Coast, of course, rain is something that happens on and off throughout the year. In California, it’s pretty much confined to a four-month period. And there’s always one thoroughly soggy, gray weekend which — although it may not be the first rain of the year — is always a dramatic introduction to the months to come.

You can always tell when this weekend hits by the volume of e-mail. Saturdays and Sundays are usually pretty low-volume for me, but this weekend I was flooded. When it’s raining in Internet Central, it shows.

As luck would have it, the beginning of the rainy season was accompanied by my first really nasty winter cold (thanks, Mr. “I’m Not Contagious”). It’s one of those really knockout ones; I feel like I’ve been run over by a freight train. I’m on my second day out of work and I’m BORED!! Aside from Lucille Ball in the remake of “Auntie Mame”, which I’m watching right now, TV has sucked. Even if I felt like leaving the house, I’d be worried that work would call the second I left (OK…not that worried…)

A few ideas for how to spend time home alone and sick:

  • Make a Kleenex sculpture.
  • Answer all the e-mail you’ve been avoiding like the plague.
  • Start working your way through that Quark book, even though your “borrowed” copy of Quark has become corrupted, making it hard to follow along.
  • Scan the Sunday paper for jobs you aren’t qualified for.
  • Organize and catalog your pornography by fetish.
  • Identify and label the stuff in the back of the refrigerator by species and creation date.
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus cocktails at 10 and 3.
  • Write another long essay about the nature of sex, love, and relationships. Or don’t, and save yourself lots of pointed questions…

Random Updates

Just for today, I’m not going to rant or rave about much of anything! The only thing on the agenda is an update of what’s going on in my life at this point in time, in case anyone cares…

A few carefully lit fires — no pun intended — have started getting a bit of reaction out of my insurance company in relation to the pile of ashes which used to be my car. I’m expecting a settlement any day now. I think informing them that they’d be paying for a rental repalcement of my choosing until I have a check in hand may have helped a bit.

No job yet, but so far I’m pretty much convinced that giving Kinko’s the heave-ho was quite the right thing to do. Today was especially convincing; the yuppie slimebags were as annoying as usual. Yesterday I taught an Internet class at one of the outlying San Francisco stores. I was amazed at how different the neighborhood atmosphere was. People were actaully smiling and walking down the street at a normal pace. No one had the perpetually constipated look of the Financial Distrist corporate automatons. It was really nice. It’s a sad thing that so many people let work rule their lives to the point of making them such unbearable substitutes for human beings. Note to the Financial District crowd: take a Valium or at least take a break once in a while!

Side note: a rumor is floating about that Kinko’s is advertising on Pat Robertson’s Family Channel (formerly the Christian Broadcasting Network). I cannot confirm this rumor. Has anyone seen commercials on this highly offensive, rabidly anti-gay and pro-enforced childbirth network? If so, please let me know, and I’ll keep you informed of how my complaints are received.

Had dinner last night with my ex David at the new IHOP South of Market. It is, without question, the creepiest IHOP atmosphere I’ve ever seen. It’s in the basement of an old commercial building and is just too damned well-lit and pastel-tinted. It’s located next to Moscone Convention Center, but the crowd seems to be more “downtown drug dealer” than “conventioneer executive”, although one middle-class mother with teen-age son was inside and looked a little horrified when David and I began discussing watersports. Denny’s is scheduled to open a few doors down very soon. Should be fun to watch.

Ran into Ron, a guy I “went out” with a few times, at lunch today and found out that his band (which was one of two whose debuts I attended recently, the other being Lucifag) is fizzling. We did the “lost your number…give me a call” routine. I never know when that’s meant sincerely or not (sometimes I really DO mean it); we did have fun…

Speaking of bands, I’ll be seeing The Third Sex at Faster Pussycat tonight. It’ll be kinda cool seeing a band on the midwestern end of a tour and then at home on the same tour. Love them…they’re great. (Note: missed ’em…the show moved…found out too late…hate life…)

As for the weekend, I’m geeting back together with this guy named Rob who I recently met in a dark back corner somewhere. He’s terminally cute, fun, shares some of my perversions, and is a pretty danged OK kinda guy, despite being from L.A. He follows orders well, and he scores major points for suggesting — without prompting — Jack in the Box as a food stop on the way back to his apartment Sunday night. More points added for being suitably worshipful about Planet SOMA…I’ll work on pictures soon.

Mom and Dad’s anniversary yesterday. Forty-seven years. Scary. I somehow doubt I’ll have a relationship last quite that long.

Gotta run now…food calls.

Thanks for checking in…

Sex, Love, and Relationships

When I was coming out at age 17, a major theme in my writing was that sex and love were essentially the same thing…there was (and could be) no difference between the two. “How can you be with someone if there’s no love?”, I asked. “How can gay men be so promiscuous?” “Sex without love is meaningless.” I was very young and idealistic. I was later to find that sex and love were not necessarily related in any way.

As I aged, I began taking to heart the 70’s texts which were the only ones available in the Greensboro Public Library . Gay relationships did not need to “ape” heterosexual marriage. A relationship not based in total freedom and mired in jealousy and suspicion is invalid from the onset. Queers are free to develop new concepts where love is concerned. Even now, I don’t disagree; I’ve developed a whole lifestyle based on divorcing the concept of sex and love. It has suited me well for many years.

Or has it? Sometimes I think I have rendered myself incapable of having a relationship based on love, trust, and (assorted gods forbid) monogamy. I tell myself repeatedly that this is not what I want.

I spent a lot of time alone as a kid, and I’ve continued doing so as an adult. In junior high and — to a lesser extent –high school, I was not what you would describe as popular. Most of my weekends were spent alone, reading, driving around aimlessly, and immersed in thought. A positive result of this is that I’ve become quite comfortable with my own company. I don’t need someone around in order to complete every little activity like eating, going to a movie, traveling, etc. In fact, I often prefer to do many of these things alone. Unfortunately, the experience has also left some of my critical social skills a bit lacking.

Also, I am selfish by nature — blame it on being an only child if you like — and I often see myself as totally unwilling to commit myself to another person. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because I shouldn’t expect anyone else to do the same for me. But there’s a paradox here. Sometimes I do find myself willing to commit, and then I expect the return, which is often not forthcoming.

Is it any wonder the longest “relationship” of my life lasted a scant six months? It’s a very unusual thing when i find myself willing to commit to a relationship, and when I do this, I tend to expect a more than satisfactory return on my emotional investment. If I’m going to suffer and pine away, I want the other person to suffer and pine away just as much. If I’m going to break all my own rules and get completely “hooked”, I expect the same in return. No wonder things get so strange; life and relationships just don’t work that way.

Of course, communication is a big factor. I often complain that “I don’t know where I stand”. I think this is a pretty universal problem; there is precious little actual communication in most relationships. In my case, I realize that it stems from my inability to let myself show traces of vulnerability by actually admitting how involved I am. So how can I fault someone else for not doing the same thing? Also, I have a big fear of screwing things up by over-analyzing and of scaring other people off by “talking about it too much”, even though I realize I’m screwing up even more by NOT talking. Maybe I’m too worried about causing the other person problems to pay attention to the wear and tear I’m exposing myself to.

Why can’t sex just be sex? What’s wrong with a series of “fuck buddies” with whom you may also share friendship, but not necessarily traditional “love”? I’ve always thought I’d grow old with a few good, non-sexual friends and get my urges taken care of on the side. I have really high standards for the people I call my “friends”; very few manage to make it for the long haul. But what happens when someone meets these standards and there’s also a “romantic” connection? Is it time to re-evaluate the concept that the people I really like and the people I have sex with should be completely separate? Is it not possible that I’m not always after “the wrong boy”?

Obviously I have a lot on my mind right now, and while this current round of analysis may have been triggered by a specific scenario, it’s a pattern I often ponder, and obviously worry about as well. Boys will continue to come and go, but will I allow myself to keep them around for a while?

Living with a Slob (Named Me)

I’m a bit of a slob, there’s no denying it. Housekeeping is not my forte. Probably never will be. My room is a mess comparable to that of the legendary Oscar Madison, clothes and papers everywhere, a few dishes scattered around, just a vaguely neurotic disarray surrounding me on all sides. Perhaps it’s the sign of a cluttered — if active — mind. Long ago, I reconciled myself to the fact that I’ll never live in an immaculate picture perfect house. It’s just not gonna happen.

Strange then that I’m so obsessively clean of body and that my work space (including the computer desktop) must be so stunningly and neatly organized or I go completely nuts. And that I empty ashtrays with an almost psychotic furor. Go figure…

Today’s lesson will be in part about ways to deal with a resident slob, or at least this particular one.

1. Sarcasm doesn’t work.

Or at least not in my case. My dad tried it when I was a kid (“Here…I’ll pick up that dish for you”, “It’s OK…I’ll put that towel in the hamper.”) Obviously it didn’t work. All it made me do was shoot the bird at him behind his back. I found out today that it still produces this reaction.

2. Sometimes guilt works.

Sulk around, looking exasperated at the mess. Occasionally pick up something. Be an “enabler”. With me, this usually results in a guilt-induced cleaning spree which would make June Cleaver proud.

3. Learn coping skills.

Despite our nature, slobs can usually meet you half way. we can keep our messes confined to a certain mutually agreed upon area. It won’t always work, but usually we’ll try to keep things in order as much as possible. sometimes we may let the mess linger, but we’re usually acutely aware of it and will have a sudden energy boost which will rectify the situation eventually.

OK, I got a bit pissed today when the roomie made a remark or two about things I left sitting out in the bathroom. He had every right to be mad, but by phrasing his complaint the way he did and then leaving before I could respond — probably a wise move — all he accomplished was adding to my already pissy mood. Most days I wouldn’t have let it bother me but today was not most days given my current collection of insecurities.

What? Yer Humble Host is not feeling on top of the world? What could be the problem in Mecca? Oh you know, the ususal mundane things like someone burning my car to a crisp, realizing (sometimes in horror) that I’ll be unemployed in two months, having a thing for someone who’s 2000 miles away, being (gasp) bored with fags in general and (bigger gasp) even slightly bored with the City. Today was a bit of a roller coaster ride; I usually keep a pretty positive frame of mind going, despite my cynicism. Today it went from pissed off to edgy to almost inexplicably bawling while walking around in Border’s. Strange…maybe it’s hormones…

Of course, just for effect, it was really cold and windy and gray today, but that’s usually a plus for me.

Ah, but I’m getting whiny. This must stop. Things are generally good, despite my vague unease with the planet. “The Simpsons” have returned for the fall, hits are up on the old web site, I got a very favorable comment on a “secret” picture of myself which lies within the confines of Planet SOMA (ego boosts are a good thing) from someone who didn’t even know it was me, I bought a cool Route 66 video tonight, and The Third Sex is playing in town on the 13th. By tomorrow, I’ll be thinking happy thoughts again. I promise.

But it’s a safe bet I’ll be absolutely no better at housekeeping.

Cars and Porn

Things look good in my insurance world (I was a touch worried) so I may have another car soon. And I finally got to see “Frisky Summer”. Johann Paulik gets fucked wearing his rollerblades. Love it; I’m thinking of blowing up a video capture to make all the “yuppie blader scum” really nervous.

Maybe Some Day They’ll Call It a Blog

New feature…an online update if you will. It may last or it may not…ya just never know.

It’s been a marginally uneventful week. The Folsom Street Fair is Sunday, so this could be a really exciting — or really annoying — weekend, depending on how geeky the tourists are. At some point over the weekend, I’ll be meeting my cyber-pals Deon and David for the first time.

No news yet on the crispy crunchy car situation; my insurance agent and I have yet to stop playing phone tag. I’m getting used to SF transit, even though I’m still reeling from an incident a few weeks ago where I was “kidnapped” by a Muni driver who refused to let me off the bus at my stop and proceded to get on the freeway, dumping me five miles from home..When I complained on the way out, he flipped me off. So much for customer service.

Work has been pretty exhausting, and my weekend started with an eleven hour sleep marathon last night. Serving the corporate clones is starting to drive me insane; one more run-in with a condescending stockbroker or lawyer is going to send me over the edge and it’ll be yuppie-kebobs for lunch. This week a customer threatened to sue us because he had to wait more than two minutes to pay. Another sleazoid got pissed because we wouldn’t spend fifteen bucks to messenger her ten dollar order to her. It’s a truly frightening thing that these stressed-out corporate stooges are pretty much in control of the country. Fortunately, I’m starting to have some nibbles on the new job search.

A nameless friend with a growing speed problem is now apparently without a home. It’s becoming very difficult to watch an otherwise severely intelligent person destroy himself so efficiently. The job went first, then the flat, but he’s dealing and getting laid a lot. I guess that means he’s doing OK, right? One of my closest friends is becoming a stranger to me; I don’t even like being around him. But I’m sure he’s well-recieved at the EndUp.

All in all, I need a vacation, so on Friday, I’ll be leaving Planet SOMA to visit exciting Minnesota. Why Minnesota, you may ask? Well, there’s this boy… Actually, there are these two boys, Bil’s an “ex”, and Christopher’s a current obsession. Their band, Lucifag, will be doing its first show ever while I’m there. I’ve never been to Minnesota before; my almanac tells me the population is 94.4 per cent white. Should look just like the Financial District at lunchtime. I’ve only managed to find one all-purpose queer website there. Details as they occur; if I can find sufficient resources, I’ll be taking the Zip drive and Casio camera on the road with me for “on the spot” updates.

Off to Folsom Street now. See ya there…

They Burned My Car

A memorial to my car…struck down by an arsonist in the prime of its life on 17 September 1996, at the tender age of six.

On Tuesday afternoon, I went out to my car, hoping to drive to Safeway for a reckless grocery spending spree. Unfortunately, my car wasn’t there. Being the jaded city dweller I am, I didn’t think much of it. “Guess I hit that five parking ticket limit”, I thought, as I walked to the police station a block away to pay my way out of the tow yard once again. Only this time, the Department of Parking and Traffic was not involved…

“Sir, your car was towed on an arson hold.”

“Oh great! Someone stole my car and started a fire?”

“No sir, that’s not exactly what ‘arson hold’ means…”

The next day, when I went to Pier 70 to identify the body, I was shocked. The car which brought me to Planet SOMA, among other places, resembled a charcoal briquette. I was not really prepared for the immense destruction. It was pretty ugly. I was really shocked most by the fact that what used to be the spare tire was sitting in what used to be the front seat. I was also pretty amazed that what used to be everything else inside the car wasn’t much of anything anymore. Looks like it was a pretty dang nasty fire. At first I thought a street person might have decided the car looked comfy enough for a cigarette and a good night’s sleep. Now I’m not too sure.

Maybe someone was pissed off by the ACT UP sticker. Maybe some some crazed tourist was retaliating against my “Mystery Spot” sticker. Maybe the commercial radio “powers that be” were not amused by the college radio ads. Could it have been a rabid environmentalist? Or perhaps a psychotic suit monster from Merrill Lynch or Charles Schwab upset that I turned down his request to do the impossible (immediately) one day at work? What do you think?